Surfers hitting the sunset surf

California Love – surf’s up!!!!

Setting aside a month to explore this famous coastline, we headed back to where route one starts, just below San Francisco and started our descent. Heading South the infamous Pacific fog was rolling in, but through the mist we made our way into Santa Cruz. The home of the wetsuit and regarded as being one of the world’s top surf towns. While we would have loved to have stayed in Santa Cruz, our last minute planning didn’t allow it, as realistically priced accommodation was hard to come by. However we did spend a morning on the seafront, watching the surfers catch waves on the erie Pacific, before heading on to Cartmel by the Sea, a rich lovers paradise, with Bentley’s and Porsches lining the streets and people sipping mimosas, like they were going out of fashion.

Surf's up - Santa Cruz
Surf’s up – Santa Cruz

And so further South we headed and into the dramatic stretch of coastline, known as Big Sur, with the fog rolling in we meandered round the winding roads taking in this magnificent coastline..

Big Sur
Big Sur
Big Sur
Big Sur
Big Sur
Big Sur

Tom had read online about a breathtaking dispersed camping spot, about 14-miles off the road up in the Los Padros forest. In our trusty Nissan we headed up to claim our spot for the next couple of nights, after about 10-miles the road disappeared and turned into a dirt track, the car nearly bottomed out a number of times, but oh my when we reached the top it was well worth the stress and aggro – it was like we’d just entered heaven and we were standing above the clouds.

Our camp above the clouds
Our camp above the clouds

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One of the many fantastic sunsets we witnessed in sequence..
One of the many fantastic sunsets we witnessed in sequence..

Leaving Big Sur we stayed in San Simeon where we recharged and relaxed for a few nights in a motel before heading to Pismo beach – Pismo beach was hip and happening, a bonafide surfers paradise, we of course stayed here – Tom hired a board and wetsuit and hit the surf….

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Tom all set to hit the Surf - Pismo beach
Tom all set to hit the Surf – Pismo beach
Pismo Pier
Pismo Pier
Beautiful sunsets
Beautiful sunsets at Pismo beach
Surfers hitting the sunset surf
Surfers hitting the sunset surf

Heading inland we drove to Solvang, just outside Santa Barbara – a guy we got talking to in Yosemite recommended it so we thought we’d check it out. Solvang is a Danish inspired town (straight away you arrive, it feels like you are in a different country altogether) I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Anyway we stayed for one night and the next day sampled the many different danish pastries…

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Solvang
Solvang
Solvang
Solvang
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Famous Danish pastry shop
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Tom giving his best Blue Steel pose…

After Solvang we headed to Santa Monica, although we didn’t stay here we spent the day in the centre of the city – a quaint place, with red cobbled pavements and a nice selection of shops – unfortunately I could only window shop :( . We stayed in the Santa Monica hills, back in the Los Padros forest, here we camped for the night before moving on further south and inland to Ojai… in case you were wondering it’s pronounced Oh-Hi, not Oh-Jay as me and tom were calling it – we camped the night here up in the hills…

View just up the road from where we camped
View just up the road from where we camped
Breakfast at Ojai - French toast, scrambled eggs and sausage (this is one portion)
Breakfast at Ojai – French toast, scrambled eggs and sausage (this is all one portion)

Moving on we headed down the coast to Ventura, where we stayed for two nights – the town was really nice, lots of wall art (which my phone is full of)

The Great Wave off Kanagawa
The Great Wave off Kanagawa

We chilled out here – went to the cinema, sampled the breweries, chatted to the locals and hit the surf!

Art Deco cinema- so pretty at night
Art Deco cinema- so pretty at night
Ventura beach
Ventura beach
Me on the pier at Ventura
Me on the pier at Ventura

 

Sampled one of the food trucks - Famous Franks - here's a grilled cheese sandwich
Sampled one of the food trucks – Famous Franks – here’s a grilled cheese sandwich
Anacapa brewing company
Anacapa brewing company

 

 

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